Center Expertise in Training & Partnership Building Contribute to Summer Job Program at MBTA
Posted July 2014
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) are partnering with local, state, and national level organizations, including the Transportation Learning Center, to create a transportation-focused pathway for students from high school into secondary education and perhaps into a career in transportation.
The purpose of the Transportation Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (TranSTEM) summer jobs project is to provide experiences to students that will instill the values of education, constructive employment and careers in various modes of the transportation industry. In order to accomplish this, the MBTA is working to link education to the real world, thereby enabling students to successfully enter the workforce or continue onto secondary education after graduation.
The MBTA recently launched their Summer Jobs program with Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) and the City of Boston. The Authority hired 20 students, who are distributed amongst various departments within MBTA for 7 weeks this summer. The program began on July 7, 2014.
Students will spend weekdays working with their respective departments on developing projects and initiatives, gaining an introduction into the multi-faceted world of transportation. On Fridays, they will spend their mornings touring different MBTA, MassDOT, and Massport facilities, and will conclude with an afternoon soft skills class with members of HR to develop their resumes, cover letters, and interviewing skills.
The TranSTEM initiative and the Summer Jobs program are the result of a network of partnerships built up over the past year by the MBTA. When General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott initiated the concept of TranSTEM in Boston, the Authority first partnered with RoxMAPP, a collaborative of Madison Park Vocational High School and Roxbury Community College. These two schools were partnered for pathway programs by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in 2013.
Dr. Scott, who has long served on the Board of the Transportation Learning Center, also reached out to Brian Turner and Jack Clark, Director and Deputy Director of the Center. The Center’s expertise on effective systems of training for front-line transit workers has helped to shape the TranSTEM initiative.
By tapping into this existing partnership, the MBTA was able to work with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, the City of Boston, and Boston Public Schools. From there, they expanded the network to include local stakeholders such as: The Boston Foundation and The Barr Foundation, both philanthropic organizations; Youth Build Boston and Boston PIC, both non-profits that connect young people to the workforce; Cardozo TransTech Academy, a similar transportation-based high school in Washington DC; and University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston.
The first year of the TranSTEM program is planned to officially launch for the 2015-2016 school year. Along with the City of Boston, the MBTA is planning for the Madison Park TranSTEM pathway to be just the first in Boston. Madison Park will become both a local and a national model of transportation incorporating workforce development as early as the middle and high school level.